ALTURAS, Calif. (AP) — More than a dozen wildfires in California, some of which destroyed homes, forced evacuations and damaged infrastructure, prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency on Saturday.
The move came as fires in other West Coast states chewed through parched forests, brush and terrain, destroying some homes and threatening many others.
In California, dry lightning, high temperatures and severe drought conditions exacerbated the fire danger.
Brown’s emergency proclamation said that the circumstances and magnitude of the wildfires are beyond the control of any single local government and will require the combined forces of regions to combat. To that end, he secured a federal grant on Saturday to cover 75 percent of the cost to fight a wildfire that started in Oregon and crossed into California.
The lightning-sparked Oregon Gulch fire has consumed nearly 33 square miles since it began Wednesday. It destroyed at least 3 homes and was threatening about 270 structures on both sides of the state border, authorities said.
Thirty fires were reported in Oregon over 24 hours, the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center said Saturday.
Further north, a freshly sparked wildfire in Washington state burned down six to eight homes. Dramatic scenes played out overnight as residents tried to keep the flames at bay, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said.